Sister Rose Thering – A Centennial Remembrance

“No one who ever brushes shoulders with Sister Rose can forget the experience.  Her unique charism, blending warmth with idealism, moves everyone she meets.  She is also a team player who serves on many teams, all with the same fervent ideals.”

This passage was written to summarize the legacy of Sister Rose Thering upon the receipt of an honorary degree bestowed by Seton Hall University in 2000. These remarks show that the esteem she was shown in life was profound and remains ever strong even a decade after her death six years later.  Her life and works are diverse and continuously honored not only on the campus, but also on a global level alike. Sister Rose (as she was affectionately known) was most widely noted for her advocacy of Israel and promoting the spiritual and educational importance inherent within Christianity and Judaism.  Her respect for each religious tradition entailed a perpetual celebration of the uniqueness found within each faith and fostering respectful dialogue between both religious traditions whenever possible.  This became one of her most lasting contributions to humankind.

Tribute to Sister Rose Thering, Memorial Card, 2006

Rose Elizabeth Thering was born on August 9, 1920 in Plain, Wisconsin and entered the order of Racine Dominican Sisters at the age of 16.  She later earned her academic credentials that included an undergraduate degree from Dominican College (1953), master of arts from the College of St. Thomas (1957), and a doctorate from St. Louis University (1961) before embarking on her long-standing work as an educator.

The doctoral dissertation written by Sister Rose focused upon the negative treatment of Judaism found in Catholic-produced textbooks.  The findings of this study were utilized by Cardinal Augustin Bea, a German Jesuit priest who during the Second Vatican Council used the work of Sister Rose for perspective that resulted in the 1965 document: Nostra Aetate (“In Our Age”), A Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions, which came down to the following major pronouncement in regard to the Crucifixion of Christ: “. . . what happened in his passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today”. As regarding how this issue was to be handled in catechetical instruction, it added, “The Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God.”

Text of Nostra Aetate, 1965

This adherence to Nostra Aetate in turn became a lifelong cause for Sister Rose where she advocated for Christians to understand and embrace this message of toleration and bring the principles from print to real life recognition.  Her activism resulted in fighting Anti-Semitism and becoming more involved in community initiatives where she was one of the founding forces behind the National Christian Leadership Conference Leadership Conference for Israel, United States Foreign Relations Committee, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) among many others.  In addition, Sister Rose became a charter member of the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education where her work led to required instruction of the Holocaust and Genocide throughout all New Jersey Public School systems.  Her outreach was so widely known that a film about her activism entitled: Sister Rose’s Passion released in 2004 was later nominated for an Academy Award.

Even though she was a citizen of the world, Sister Rose made an important and lasting mark on Seton Hall when she arrived on campus in 1968 through her work as a faculty member in the College of Education.  She advanced to the rank of Professor and was elected Chair of Secondary Education before her official retirement in 1989.  Sister Rose further helped to enhance the Institute of Judaeo-Christian Studies, conducted over 50 tours of Israel and countless workshops on Judaism that helped lead to the origin of the Menorah Studies Program that led to the Graduate Department of Judaeo-Christian Studies founded in 1974.  She later became a Professor Emerita at Seton Hall and the Sister Rose Endowment Center named in her honors continues to the sponsor the annual “Evening of Roses” event where leaders in both the Jewish and Christian communities were honored for their contributions to mutual religious understanding.





Publications Celebrating the Work of Sister Rose Thering, 1974-2000


In addition to the memories and testimonials that remain, the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center houses the Sister Rose Thering Papers (MSS 0016) consisting of various works that show more detail on her life and work over the last century.  The following abstract provides an overview of this collection which is available for research consultation . . .

The Rose Thering Papers (1944-2005) consist of the professional and personal papers of Sister Rose Thering. The collection includes writings, correspondence, speeches, travel information, and subject files. Most of the material dates from Sister Rose Thering’s time in New Jersey working for the Institute for Judaeo-Christian studies, and documents her teaching and scholarly activities, her work for the state of New Jersey in creating legislation for the teaching of the Holocaust, her international activism, and her travel to gives talks to a wide variety of audiences. The materials also demonstrate the varied research interests of Sister Rose that are located in specialized subject files.

More details on this collection can be reviewed via the following link . . .

In addition, the Archives & Special Collections Center along with the University Libraries of Seton Hall contains a number of books authored by and about Sister Rose along with various articles that highlight her research and varied pronouncements . . .

For more information regarding Sister Rose Thering along with other figures related to the Judaeo-Christian Studies program and its history please feel free to contact us via e-mail at: or by phone at: (973) 275-2378.


Object of the Week: “Madonna of the Rosary” by Lucas Vorsterman the Elder

Lucas Vorsterman the Elder
Madonna of the Rosary (after Caravaggio)
22” H x 16.5” W
early 17th century
Image courtesy of the Walsh Gallery



This engraving by Lucas Vorsterman the Elder is after an original painting by Caravaggio.  Though we do not know the patron of this work, art historians believe Caravaggio’s painting was part of an altarpiece created for a Dominican church – inferred by the presence of Saint Dominic – shown on the right holding rosaries in his outstretched hands.  It is thought the figure peering from beneath Saint Dominic’s robes is the patron who commissioned this work given his eye contact with the viewer and proximity to the saint and the Virgin Mary.[1]

The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary. According to an account by fifteenth-century Dominican, Alan de la Roche, Mary appeared to Saint Dominic in 1206 after praying.  She gave Saint Dominic the Rosary, explained its uses and significance, and told him to preach it to others.[2]  The Rosary consists of prayer and meditations on the life of Christ using rosary beads as an aid.  Catholics pray the rosary to ask God for a special favor, such as helping a loved one recover from an illness, or to thank God for blessings received.[3]

The rosary has 59 beads, a crucifix, and a medal, with certain prayers for each of the pieces. The prayers of the rosary can be divided into three categories: Introductory Prayers, The Decades and Closing Prayers.[4]  The prayers that compose the rosary are arranged in sets of ten “Hail Mary” prayers. Each set of ten, or decade, is preceded by one “Lord’s Prayer” (“Our Father”) and traditionally followed by one “Glory Be.”  During the recitation of each set, thought is given to one of the Mysteries of the Rosary, which recall events in the lives of Jesus and of Mary. Five decades are recited per rosary.[5]

The term rosary is derived from the Latin word rosarium or rose garden and the rose is the symbol of the Virgin Mary.The earliest documented use of the term rosary dates back to 1597[6], though the story of Saint Dominic tells us the word likely appeared much earlier in time.  Rosary beads are made from a variety of materials.  These include ordinary ones such as plastic, rope or wood, or more expensive materials such as gemstones or precious metals.  The tradition of using beads to pray spans across many faiths and cultures.  Hindus, Greeks, Buddhists and numerous other peoples use beads to pray.  Interestingly enough, the word bead in English is derived from an Old English word that means prayer.[7]

Rosary with made of red plastic beads and a metal chain and crucifix, Collection on Pope John Paul II (MSS 0004)
Rosary, Collection on Pope John Paul II (MSS 0004)



The Walsh Gallery has a considerable collection of fine art, artifacts and archeological specimens. For access to this or objects in our collections, complete this research request form to set up an appointment. 


[1]  accessed 10/7/2020

[2] accessed 10/7/2020

[3]  accessed 10/7/2020

[4] accessed 10/7/2020

[5]  accessed 10/7/2020

[6] accessed 10/7/2020

[7] accessed 10/7/2020


Family History Month

This October, in celebration of Family History Month, explore the Genealogy Resources the Archives & Special Collections has from Catholic parishes and various Catholic cemeteries in the Archdiocese of Newark, comprising of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union Counties. Find your ancestors and discover clues about their life! While we encourage researching family history with our collections, we do so by asking you to submit a Genealogy Research Request Form where we will perform a FREE 1 HOUR search on your behalf. Please note we do not search for baptismal, communion, confirmation, or marriage records post-1930 because of privacy concerns.

If you have further questions about our collection, or your family history research, please contact Jacquelyn Deppe, the Special Collections Assistant, via e-mail: or by phone at: (973) 761-9476.

Object of the Week: Medal Commemorating the Opening of the Second Vatican Council

Vatican II opening commemorative medal
Features image of Pope John XXIII
Gift of Dr. Peter Ahr





Informally known as Vatican II or the Second Vatican Council, The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, was formally opened 58 years ago on October 11, 1962 under the pontificate of Pope John XXIII.[1]  Vatican II addressed relations between the Catholic Church and the modern world – establishing a strong emphasis on ecumenism (promoting union between religions), a revised liturgy and new approaches to Catholic engagement with the world.[2]  Sessions were held annually among Bishops over the course of the four years, concluding under the pontificate of Pope Paul VI on December 8, 1965, ushering in an era of numerous liturgical, spiritual and lay movements.[3] 

News clipping titled, "Committee on Canon Law Appointed by Pope John"
“Committee on Canon Law Appointed by Pope John,” unattributed newsclipping, 1950’s, John M. Oesterreicher papers, Mss 0053, Courtesy of the Monsignor Field Archives and Special Collections Center
Image of Archbishop Thomas Boland, c. 1960s
Archbishop Thomas Boland, c. 1960s

The Department of Archives and Special Collections and the Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University hold a vast array of manuscripts, photographs, documents, news clippings, artifacts and materials related to Vatican II that illuminate this propitious moment in history.  Some of the most comprehensive collections on the Council held by Seton Hall University include archival materials related to the church leaders that served on the council and in the Seton Hall University community, including Monsignor John

Black and white image of Bishop John Joseph Dougherty seated, c. 1960s
Bishop John Joseph Dougherty, c. 1960s

M. Oesterreicher, Bishop John Joseph Dougherty – at the time of Vatican II an Auxiliary Bishop of Newark and former president of Seton Hall University – and materials related to Archbishop Thomas Boland.[4]  Selected issues of the Catholic Advocate, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Newark, have been digitized and are also available for in person research or online at the Catholic News Archive.


Newspaper clipping from The Catholic Advocate titled “Monsignor Oesterreicher Presents Copy of ‘The Bridge’ to Pope.”
“Monsignor Oesterreicher Presents Copy of ‘The Bridge’ to Pope,” The Catholic Advocate, September 22, 1960, pg. 1 digitized Vatican II (1958-1964) editions of the Catholic Advocate courtesy of the Catholic News Archive.




The images and materials shown here are but a small part of the vast patrimony available to students, faculty and researchers.  For more information or to make an appointment, contact 973-761-9476 or


[1] accessed 10/2/2020

[2]  accessed 10/1/2020

[3] accessed 10/2/2020

[4] accessed 10/5/2020


Pope Saint John Paul II & The Silver Anniversary of His Journey to Newark

Sto Lat! This was a typical greeting shared by Pope Saint John Paul II whose words and outreach touched millions of individuals around the world during his lifetime and beyond.  This week marks a milestone for the local community when Pope Saint John Paul II visited the Eastern United States between October 4-8, 1995 with a special excursion to Newark and surrounding communities during the first two days of this much anticipated spiritual pilgrimage.

Cover of the Catholic Advocate heralding the arrival of Pope Saint John Paul II – October 4, 1995

The choice to visit Newark was well-summarized by Mr. Jerry Filteau, a columnist for the National Catholic Reporter who offered the following prospectus for those unfamiliar with the deep-rooted diversity found within the city and surrounding communities:

“Newark viewed as place of hope,” In visiting the Newark Archdiocese, Oct. 4 and 5, Pope John Paul II will find a microcosm of the church and the nation . . . the archdiocese has 11 distinct offices just for racial and ethnic apostolates — Hispanics, African-Americans, Chinese, Filipinos, Haitians, Irish, Italians, Koreans, Poles, Portuguese and Vietnamese.  The Newark Archdiocese’s Catholics are the local teachers and retail clerks, police and meat cutters, homemakers and shop owners.  They’re the airline employees, truckers, railroad workers, shippers and dockworkers of Newark, Jersey City, Elizabeth and Bayonne, one of the nation’s busiest transportation hubs. They’re the professionals and corporate executives who live in affluent Bergen County suburbs . . . “

In regard to the first chapter of the journey, Pope Saint John Paul II arrived at the Newark International Airport and met with various dignitaries prior to his first major talk before the United Nations General Assembly as a prelude to his day of activities in the “Brick City’ and environs.

The morning of October 5th Pope Saint John Paul II celebrated Mass at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford before 85,000 individuals where Pope Saint John Paul II in his homily expressed those present and millions watching on television that “Today we are celebrating the Good News of God’s Kingdom here in Giants Stadium, in the Archdiocese of Newark in New Jersey – ‘The Garden State’ . . . “ which was greeted with enthusiastic applause.  Moreover, he reminded the assembly of the ways in which the church has “made a home” in this country, embracing people of many different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Pope Saint John Paul II delivered his sermon during an unforeseen downpour in which he quipped to the assemblage that: “I see the people of New Jersey know how to praise God in joyful praise and song, even in the rain.” . . . “water drenched faithful that “water is a sign of life, a sign of God’s blessing!”  This provided a graceful note upon which to end the ceremony and inspire the crowd.

That evening, Pope Saint John Paul II celebrated evening prayer at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart located in downtown Newark. On this occasion, the edifice was elevated to Minor Basilica status to henceforth be known as the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart.  This marked an enduring monument to the brief, but memorable time that Pope Saint John Paul II spent in our neighborhood.


The New Jersey Catholic Historical Commission (Headquartered within the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center) is also celebrating this occasion during early October with commemorative posts that are archived for reference and found on our Facebook Page via the following link:

Screenshots of the New Jersey Catholic Historical Commission Facebook Page & Pope Saint John II, October 2020

In addition, along with our Manuscript Collection on the Visit proper there are more resources related to Pope Saint John II (along with other Pontiffs over the centuries) can be found here via our ArchivesSpace holdings catalog . . .

For further information on Papal History and any aspect of Catholic New Jersey please contact us by e-mail at: or via phone at: (973) 275-2378.

Object of the Week – Portrait of Monsignor John A. Stafford, S.T.L.



Monsignor John A. Stafford, S.T.L., was the eighth President of Seton Hall College from 1899 to 1907, presiding over the college’s Golden Anniversary in 1906.  At the dawn of the new century, Monsignor Stafford oversaw a number of advances on our campus including the construction of a School Infirmary and a residence for the Sisters of Charity, which helped run campus operations at the time.[i]  The order was founded in the tradition of Seton Hall University’s namesake, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, and the sisterhood, which still operates today from Convent Station in Morris County, New Jersey, advocates for human rights, peace and non-violence, while promoting systemic change.  In addition to putting his support behind health and humanitarian causes, Monsignor Stafford’s tenure also saw the first inter-collegiate basketball team in 1903 and inaugurated the construction of the college’s first permanent baseball diamond just two years later.[ii]

Monsignor John A. Stafford studied classics at St. John’s in Pennsylvania and later, at Seton Hall College.  He continued his studies at the seminary at Pontifical North American College in Rome in 1882.  Six years later, he was ordained and entered the priesthood on April 8, 1888.  On returning to the United States, he served in various New Jersey parishes and was later appointed as Vice President of Seton Hall College in 1893 under Father Marshall’s administration.  In 1897 he was selected as rector of St. Augustine’s Church in Union Hill (Union City), New Jersey before returning to Seton Hall College in 1899 to serve as President after being appointed on May 10, 1899 by the Most Rev. Winand M. Wigger, third Bishop of Newark.[iii]  At the time, student enrollment at the college was 165.  In comparison, today’s enrollment is well over 10,000 students.[iv]

In Monsignor Stafford’s time, the campus of Seton Hall College was very different.  South Orange was still a rural area with many farms and open spaces.  In fact, there was a farm on the north side of South Orange Avenue which contained a dairy to supply food products needed on campus.  Students and professors were obligated to obey the rule of silence which forbade talking in any of the class corridors.  Saturday was no time for resting – students attended a full day of classes on that day too.  There was a less stringent side to Monsignor Stafford who was known to have a good singing voice.  There are accounts of him regaling students and faculty at a Christmas party to his renditions of “Noel,” followed by an encore of “An Old Christmas Dinner.”[v]

Map of South Orange from 1910
Map of South Orange from 1910. 2019.10.0007.

In addition to serving as the President of Seton Hall College, Monsignor Stafford was simultaneously charged with running the seminary rectory.  Monsignor Stafford, despite his busy schedule, frequently lectured in pastoral theology and liturgy.   During his term as President, a liberal arts curriculum was emphasized with “stress on the classics, history, English, mathematics, philosophy, and systematic instruction in the Catholic religion.” [vi] During his tenure as President of Seton Hall College, Father Stafford was elevated to the rank of Monsignor in 1903.

Image of the Paramount Theatre in Newark, NJ
Façade of the Paramount Theatre in Newark, NJ

The Golden Jubilee celebrations in 1906 in which Monsignor Stafford presided were filled with commemorative ceremonies and special events, including the very first commencement exercises held indoors at the nearby H.C. Miner’s Newark Theatre, which opened in 1886 as a vaudeville house.  With its elaborately decorated interior and grand façade, the theatre was an elegant setting for the graduation ceremonies. [vii]  Though its name has since changed many times and the current marquee shows its age, the old theatre still stands prominently at 195 Market Street, just steps from Seton Hall Law School in the city’s downtown business district.

Black and white photograph of Msgr. John A. Stafford, seated
Msgr. John A. Stafford

Citing health issues, Monsignor Stafford resigned in 1907 and was succeeded by Monsignor John F. Mooney as President.[viii]  Monsignor Stafford continued to serve the community after leaving Seton Hall College, becoming pastor of St. Paul of the Cross Church in Jersey City, New Jersey.  He then went to St. Patrick’s Church in Jersey City.  He died on January 21, 1913, not far from his native Paterson, New Jersey where he was born on March 13, 1857.[ix]

Monsignor Stafford’s influence can still be felt on campus today.  The portrait of Monsignor Stafford painted by A. Dies in 1904, watches over activities in President’s Hall.  The liberal arts curriculum he favored is still taught, now joined by additional courses of study in the sciences, medicine, business and diplomacy, among others.  Stafford Hall, one of three original buildings, was one of the centerpieces of the campus at the time of its completion.  Originally used as a dormitory, Stafford Hall was rebuilt in 2014 on its same location between Marshall Hall and the Immaculate Conception Seminary and School of Theology. The new building is constructed in the original neo-gothic style, but offers 21st century amenities to accommodate student and faculty needs.  This building style, drawing from the past, but equipped to support student achievement, is a metaphor for Monsignor Stafford’s leadership and service in the Catholic tradition – rooted in a rich past, while striving towards potentiality.

Historic image of the original Stafford Hall, which was a dormitory
Historic image of the original Stafford Hall Dormitory


For r access to this painting or other materials from our collections featured in previous Object of the week posts, fill out this research request form to set up a research appointment.


[i], accessed 9/21/2020

[ii], accessed 9/22/2020

[iii]., accessed 9/23/2020

[iv], accessed 9/23/2020


[vi] , accessed 9/23/2020

[vii],Brooklyn%20based%20theater%20Management%20Company, accessed 9/22/2020

[viii] Flynn, Joseph M. The Catholic Church in New Jersey. Morristown, NJ: 1904. Kennely, Edward F. A Historical Study of Seton Hall College. Ph.D. dissertation, New York University, 1944.

[ix] 9/23/2020

Spanish Language Instruction and Celebration of Bi-Lingualism at Setonia, 1856-Present

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (DHEW) memorandum regarding equal rights in terms of learning-based opportunities. The issue of language and the need to educate all children on a nationwide scale regardless of English-language fluency became the major talking point for many viewing the overall theme and subtext of this pronouncement. All grade levels benefited from this renewed attention to linguistic-based instruction objectives.

Around the same time, the Puerto Rican Institute, now known at the Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute, was founded at Seton Hall University. The creation of the Institute was to support the Hispanic community, ensuring Hispanic youths had opportunities for a full development through a variety of services and activities the university was able to provide. Due to the Institutes groundwork, Hispanic enrollment has increased along with an increase in the interest, recognition, and involvement of the community.

Today, Seton Hall University continues its language education that started during 1897-1898, before the DHEW memorandum and the founding of the Puerto Rican Institute, when only Spanish and Italian were offered. Currently, there are a variety of languages offered, such as Chinese, Japanese, German, French, Spanish, along with studies dedicated to different cultures around the world such as Latin American and Latino/Latina Studies.


Cover of the Puerto Rican Institute Inauguration Program – October 17, 1974


Additional data points on Spanish-themed resources and the overall scope of Central and South American life can be found within the Latin American Research Guide which is updated by Professor Lisa DeLuca, Professor Brooke Duffy, and Professor Lisa Rose-Wiles.

For more details about the history of the Spanish-language experience at Seton Hall University and other aspects of Latin America please feel free to consult the Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute at Seton Hall University or contact Ms. Ana Campoverde, Executive Director by e-mail: or phone: (973) 761-9422.

Additional aspects about the history of Latino and their contributions to Seton Hall can be researched via the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center.  Please feel free to consult our website at: or contact Alan Delozier, University Archivist by email: or phone: (973) 275-2378.

Object of the Week: Melvin Dalton Olympic Qualifying Medal and Certificate

Mel Dalton – Olympic Medal of Merit
2 3/16″ diameter
Department of Archives and Special Collections, Seton Hall University


This Olympic qualifying medal and certificate were presented to Seton Hall University alumnus, Melvin Joseph Dalton, a member of the United States Olympic Team for the 1928 Amsterdam Summer Olympics.  Dalton ranked first place at the Olympic trials on Travers Island (Pelham), New York in the steeplechase run, making him eligible to compete in the summer Olympics that same year.  In the 1928 Olympic Games, he came in seventh place in the steeplechase, a grueling 3,000-meter obstacle race in which runners jump over four hurdles and a water pit.  Dalton’s personal best in the Steeplechase event had him clocking in at 9 minutes, 33 seconds.  Three Finnish runners took the gold, silver and bronze medals: Toivo Loukola, Paavo Nurmi and Ove Anderson.  Toivo Loukola set a new world record at 9 minutes 21 seconds – 12 seconds faster than Dalton’s personal best.  The men’s 3000-meter steeplechase event at the 1928 Olympic Games took place on August 1 and August 4.

Mel Dalton – Olympic Certificate of Merit, certificate, 5 11/16” x 7 11/16”, June 17, 1928, 2020.05.0002, Department of Archives and Special Collections
Mel Dalton – Olympic Certificate of Merit, certificate, 5 11/16” x 7 11/16”, June 17, 1928, 2020.05.0002, Department of Archives and Special Collections

The Amsterdam Olympic Games of 1928 were officially known as the Games of the IX Olympiad.  These games saw the participation of 2883 athletes from 46 countries competing in 109 events.  Athletes from twenty-eight nations won gold medals, a record which would stand for forty years, and it was the first time women were allowed to compete in athletics and gymnastics events. Women would not be allowed to compete in the Olympic steeplechase event until 2008 – 80 years after Dalton’s Olympic competition.  The 1928 games also witnessed the first lighting of the Olympic flame at an opening ceremony, as well as the establishment of the protocol of Greek athletes entering the stadium first, with host nation athletes entering last.

For video footage of the 1928 Steeplechase event in which Dalton ran, click here.

A native of Newark, New Jersey, Dalton attended Seton Hall from 1925 to 1929 and was later inducted into the University’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 1980.  Dalton ran track for Seton Hall as a student, and in 1925 was undefeated in all his college cross-country races and 2-miles track races. Dalton would later become a member of the priest community.

Black and white image of alumnus Melvin Dalton in his Seton Hall track uniform, in a stance so he appears ready to run
Photo of Melvin Dalton in uniform, Galleon Yearbook, Class of 1927, pg. 115


Seton Hall Digital Mapping Project Launched

image of main digital mapping site
Landing page for the new site

Today a new digital map of Seton Hall was launched by Walsh Library.  This site allows users to create rich tours of sites at Seton Hall – or anywhere around the world – contextualizing the places with photographs, text, and even audio and video recordings.  The introductory tour  builds on an existing set of digitized historic postcards of South Orange and Seton Hall that resided in the Library’s e-Repository.  “The postcards were well digitized, and had very detailed, searchable data in the e-Repository.  But this format allows for a more interactive way for the community to explore the collection,” according to Sarah Ponichtera, Assistant Dean for Special Collections and the Gallery.

The project took shape when archives staff, along with the rest of the university, suddenly shifted to remote work in the spring and sought ways to connect the campus community with archival collections during this difficult period.  Technical Services Archivist Sheridan Sayles researched digital mapping products that might suit Seton Hall, and settled on Curatescape, an open-source product.  “Curatescape allows users to connect historic images of sites and objects with their location, essentially weaving in historical stories to the every day places we pass by.” according to Sayles.  Over the spring and summer, Sayles and Library Collection Developer Zachary Pelli worked to get the site installed and import the images and data from the e-Repository.  With the help of a remote intern from Southern Connecticut State University, Amanda Damon, they populated the site with 53 locations (called stories) that can be connected in tours, found using subject tags, and enriched over time as more content is integrated into the site.  Constructing the locations as stories allows for more flexibility – a particularly rich object, such as the stained glass windows in the Chapel, could be its own story even though it is still part of the Chapel location.  A story could even be built around a person with a long history on campus.

Site page for Stafford Hall
Page for Stafford Hall, one of 53 unique locations, or “stories” on the site.

The Library welcomes suggestions from the community for ways to develop and expand the site.  It may be suited for tours developed in courses, adapted to create a virtual tour of campus for those unable to visit in person, or become a center for alumni to contribute their memories of campus.  Due to its home in the Monsignor William Noe Field Archives, content contributed to the digital map will be preserved in the University Archives as part of the history of Seton Hall.  According to University Archivist Alan Delozier, “within this time of quarantine, the value of this initiative is all the more important for those who cannot visit the school grounds at present, but the long term value of this project will continue to attract attention from students, faculty, and other individual across campus along with external users alike.”

Object of the Week: Illustrated Jerusalem Bible

The Illustrated Jerusalem Bible in Hebrew and English
Published by Jerusalem Bible Publishing Co, Inc., 1958
Jerusalem – New York – London
Edited by M. Friedlander
Silver and turquoise binding
1,982 pages
Richard J. Hughes Papers, MSS #3


SHANA TOVA (Happy New Year)

At this time of year, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the two the holiest days in the Jewish faith are observed.  The observances are a blend of joy and solemnity, feasting and fasting, and prayer that make up the spiritually inspired head of the Jewish year. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a time of family gatherings and special meals.   Unlike the secular New Year in the Gregorian calendar (January 1), Rosh Hashanah is a time of judgment and remembrance, on which G-d reviews and judges a person’s deeds in the past year. It is a time of prayer and penitence.  Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement) is the day of repentance, the most holy day on the Jewish calendar. Described as a Shabbat shabbaton (Shabbat of solemn rest) in the Torah, Yom Kippur is a day of fasting, prayer, and reflection. Yom Kippur is the culmination of a period of time during the month of Elul in which Jews are required to take stock of their lives, to ask forgiveness from friends and family, and to take steps toward self-improvement for the year to come.